In It to Win It

This Trio of Influential Men Works to Keep Loveland a Destination for Generations to Come

Article by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Photography by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

Otto Huber

Occupation: Fire Chief

“We’ve got nowhere to go but up.”

How has the community changed over the years?

We have a unique set of people here who are really about the community. The kind of managed growth that we’ve had in Loveland has been at a pace that the community can absorb. We’re starting to say, “Now what’s our story?”

Whats your community involvement?

My focus has been the redevelopment of the historic district as it relates to the three buildings [that caught on fire]. That’s a deep commitment because even though the businesses are back open, we still have a lot of work to do.

What you love most about Loveland: 

The people. Everyone is willing to help everyone. Every time we’ve had an issue, the community has always risen to that challenge.

Your view of Loveland now, post-fire:

The downtown area has had a fresh coat just put on it, if you will. All age groups from all over Cincinnati are coming—we have a lot more to offer than the bike trail, and they discovered that. It’s [also] been a new discovery for the people who have been here. We have a gem here; we just kind of polished it off.

And Loveland’s future?

At the end of the day, downtown areas will not survive unless people live here. There’s an array of housing, and real estate agents and developers have realized what we have here and what millennials want. Some people look at that as a negative—I don’t. They’re the future of this community. We have to make sure we have a place that meets their needs or they’ll go elsewhere.

Words to live by?  

Don’t take things too seriously, and remember that it’s always about them, it’s never about you. As long as we stay focused on what’s best for the community, everyone will flourish.  

Nick Winnenberg

Organization: Loveland Young Professionals Head

“Just be there. Get involved. If the town asks for your input, give the input. If the town has a meeting, show up because no one else is. ... you’ll have the floor.”

Why did you start the Loveland Young Professionals?

My wife and I were both involved with young professionals groups [in college], and when we [moved to] Loveland, we discovered there wasn’t a group for that. We worked with the Chamber and other groups and got it started. We wanted to make it a lean organization [with] friendly networking, professional development and community involvement. What we found was a lot of it focused around networking and giving people a chance to get together, talk, complain if you needed to and have a couple beers.

How often do you put together events?

Every month we do a third-Thursday happy hour, we have the networking [and] we also do professional development, community engagement and work with a local nonprofit called Tango Tap, where we make sandwiches for different homeless shelters around Cincinnati [on] the third Saturday of the month.

Advice for young people wanting to get involved?

Just show up. If you go to the board meetings and the city’s events, you’ll realize there’s a lot that young professionals can get involved with. 

Where do you see the future of Loveland?

There is going to be a huge pull for young professionals, especially as we’re finding out about these places. We’re attracting more and more young people to the area, while at the same time keeping that small-town vibe.

Words to live by?

I have three rules, in this order: Be good, do well and don’t take yourself too seriously. My life’s purpose is to do difficult things, with dynamic people, in order to achieve with greatness and take others with me.

Tim Butler

Office: Loveland City Council Member

“We’re trying to preserve and enhance that feeling of community, and one thing I’ve noticed about Loveland is that people appreciate the hometown establishments.”

How has the community changed over time?

The downtown has evolved. When you talk to people who have been here a long time, at one time downtown was not a place you’d want to bring your family and hang out, whereas now it’s very family-friendly with lots of leisure and recreational opportunities.

How do you contribute to the community?

One aspect of city council [that I work with] is the downtown planning committee. Planning and zoning is another big subcommittee of the council that makes decisions about development—those are the two primary ones that take up my time.

What do you love about Loveland?

It has a good spirit and a lot of can-do, positive people. It’s very reassuring to be growing in the same direction, and people are coming together in a positive way to find out what people want for downtown and the city itself. ... then [they] roll up their sleeves and go about doing it.

Where do you see the future of Loveland?

I think the opportunities for Loveland are limitless. People really enjoy coming here, and we need to make sure we don’t lose the atmosphere that brings people here in the first place. I think Loveland is a friendly place where you can enjoy a small-town atmosphere just a few minutes from a major metropolitan area. We need to preserve that but also provide opportunity for growth for those that are interested in investing in downtown.

Words to live by:

People want to help, and [you should] give them that opportunity. Reach out to others and seek contributions, because you don’t always have the best ideas. It’s important to find out from others what they think and learn what assets and talents they bring because that enhances everybody when you give people that sense of ownership.

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